This pearl millet recipe needs overnight prep in terms of soaking. That apart, this gluten free grain combined with mung dal and vegetables, makes a wholesome healthy meal. It is also an excellent recipe for diabetics.
Want to add more whole grains in your diet for their excellent health benefits?
This is one grain (high fibre, high protein, gluten free) that you must consider adding to your pantry.
Read on to find out how to use it in your day to day cooking and the best way to cook it.
Pearl Millet in Indian languages
- Tamil – Kambu
- Hindi / Bengali / Odia / Punjabi – Bajra
- Kannada – Sajje
- Gujarati / Marathi – Bajri
- Telugu – Sajja
Pearl Millet or whole bajra is an excellent whole grain to stock up in the kitchen. A lot of cooks get discouraged by the very long cooking time, labelling it difficult to cook.
It is best to soak any whole grain before proceeding to cook with it. This applies to pearl millet too.
Soaking reduces the anti-nutrient ‘phytic acid’ that is present in the outer cover of the grains. Soaking, sprouting or fermenting are the three techniques that must be used with whole grains to ensure that maximum nutrients are absorbed by the body.
Eating Pearl Millet – for Diabetics and Weight Loss
Pearl Millet is an excellent grain for diabetics due to its high fibre content. The carbohydrates get converted into glucose and released into the blood stream in a more gradual manner, preventing any spikes in blood sugar.
The fibre also gives a sense of fullness for a longer period after a meal with a relatively smaller portion of food making it a very good option for those attempting to lose weight.
How to cook pearl millet or bajra
- A tough grain like pearl millet does good with a long soaking time – a minimum of 12 hours.
- Drain the water and pressure cook with 3-4 times the water for at least 15-20 mins (after full pressure / whistle).
- Cooker larger quantities at one time and refrigerate to use in other recipes to save on time and effort.
Pearl millet flour / bajra atta is used in some cuisines in India to prepare flatbreads – Gujarat / Rajasthan mainly, because of the arid climate that favours growth of this millet. Bajra is traditionally eaten in the winters because it is seen as a ‘warming food’ and not advocated for the summer diet.
I feel that the grain offers much more flavour and satiety than the flour, not to mention the nutritional benefits you get from eating the whole grain.
One Pot Meal
Pearl millet (bajra) khichdi recipe prepared with moong dal and vegetables is almost like a risotto in texture. You cannot overcook pearl millet as it retains its texture very well, despite cooking for a long time. Do not mistake the chewy texture for uncooked/improperly cooked millet. When adding vegetables to the khichdi, cut into large chunks because of the overall increased cooking time.
Once you have soaked the millets for 12 hours, this makes an easy weeknight dinner. The khichdi cooks in the pressure cooker while you go about other chores. A plate of hot khichdi with your favourite accompaniments makes a comforting meal like no other on a nippy evening.
5 More Healthy Millet Recipes
- Methi na Dhebra – Rustic flatbread from Gujarat
- Millet Upma – easy breakfast or anytime meal
- Foxtail Millet Vangi Baath – Millet with Eggplant
- Paneer Millet Koftas – healthy appetisers
- Foxtail Millet Salad
Equipment / Ingredients needed to make Bajra Khichdi
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